Category: VMware ESX

I am migrating virtual machines from VMware workstation to our cluster. People were trying to save money and use the workstation product instead of getting another cluster.

I am using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone and one migration died. After correcting a couple things; I tried to rerun but received the following error:

A general system error occurred: Unexpected element tag “ConvertManager” seen while parsing serialized DataObject of type converter.AgentInstanceContent at line7, column 63 while parsing return value of type converter.ServiceInstanceContent, version converter.version.version2 at line 7, columen 0 while parsing SOAP body at line 6, column 0 while parsing SOAP envelope at line 2, column 0 while parsing HTTP response for method retrieveConent on object of type converter.ServiceInstance at line 1, column 0

I checked a few things but no obvious issues. This particular VM was part of a group with a similar configuration and they migrated successfully.

Since it crashed, I checked the programs control panel and found that VMware vCenter Converter Agent was installed.

The agent is installed as part of a conversion and is removed at completion. Since the effort failed, it was left in place. Usually, I can rerun without a problem but every so often the mentioned error happens.

I removed the agent (no reboot needed) and was able to initiate a conversion.


Software hive will not load

When a company is acquired; it tends to bring in problems from their past for you to clean up.

Such was the case of a Windows XP 64bit virtual machine. It would not boot. It would hang during the startup, crash and reboot.

There was no BSOD to trap which was rather odd considering the way XP handled such things so it had to be multiple problems.

The first issue was to try and boot the VM. With a physical machine, you simply booted off the installer CD. Luckily, VMware allows for this by giving you the ability to mount an ISO via the virtual cdrom drive.

One nice thing about the 64bit OS? Didn’t have to load drivers via an flp file as I previously had to do with a 32bit install.

I was able to boot off the cdrom and got into the recovery console. It did show the Windows install which I selected. Once it loaded and gave me a prompt; I ran a chkdsk /r which found a few problems and corrected them.

After that I tried a reboot and got a BSOD which quickly disappeared.

A funny side note: there is a way to slow down the reboot so you can read the message. The Net is full of articles about how to handle this. For a physical setup, this makes sense. However, I found several articles for virtual machine problems. Sometimes in debug mode; people overlook the obvious.  Why not take a screen capture?

When the VM tried to load again and the BSOD appeared; I took a screen capture and found the message stated:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
or it's log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I researched this and found some solutions which required many steps and there was a question if this VM was really even needed as the problem had been around for awhile.

The VM needed to be up in order to answer the question. I did find a simple solution which allowed this to happen.

  1. Boot to your CD and choose R (Recovery Console), at the command prompt, type the following:
  2. ren c:\windows\system32\config\software software.old
  3. copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config


This VM did need a reinstall of java and the gpupdate /force needed to be run.

Now the users are reviewing the need of the VM.